The horror genre is no stranger to disturbing content. From malevolent ghosts tormenting innocent families, sadistic killers butchering their victims, and brutally bleak thematic tones adding some extra flavour to the violence, horror films are the place for film lovers to go to experience the wilder side of cinema.
Horror films are intended to shock audiences. Whether that be through their levels of violence or nerve-shredding tension, it’s likely that some viewers will find themselves looking away from the screen or peering through their fingers in fear of what they’ll see. However, not all are created equally, with some being much more shocking than others.
These films don’t gloss over any of the gory details, ensuring that viewers absorb every depraved frame. Their reputations become challenges to horror fans in which sitting through them becomes a badge of honour.
But even for the most seasoned viewers, some sequences can prove to be too much. The intensity in these scenes is dialled up to 11 and then amplified some more for good measure. In other words, watching such scenes can become more of a test of endurance than anything else.
Content warning and minor spoilers ahead for the following.
10. The Ruins (2008) - The Amputation Scene
Based on the novel of the same name
by Scott Smith (who also penned the screenplay), The Ruins sees a group of tourists’
Mexican vacation go horribly wrong after they're convinced to embark on a trip deep within the jungle. Soon after
Now trapped with scarce food and water, the sound of a ringing phone emanating from a nearby shaft signals their possible salvation. But when one of them attempts to descend into the darkness, the makeshift harness snaps. Their fall breaks their back, paralysing them.
Things only get worse for the injured man the next morning when they realise the true terror of their situation. The vines enveloping the ruins have wrapped themselves around their legs while he slept, eating his flesh down to the bone.
To keep the unfortunate traveller alive, an amputation is required. What follows is a harrowing sequence in which their legs are broken with a large stone and sawed off with a knife before the wound is cauterised.
Watching this scene, viewers feel every bone-breaking crunch as it happens.